The organization was also handicapped by constant disagreements among the leaders. Read Memoirs of Darien giving a short description of that countrey, with an account of the attempts of the Company of Scotland, to settle a colonie in that place.
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This organization came into existence to fight for the interest of Nigerians generally but its attention was taken up by the struggle over the land issue of In Northern Nigeria, all lands were taken over by the administration and held in trust for the people. Those in Southern Nigeria feared that this method would be introduced into the South.
Educated Africans believed that if they can be successful in preventing the system from being extended to Southern Nigeria, then they can fight to destroy its practice in the North. Its delegation to London to present its views to the British government was discredited by quarrels which broke out among its members over the delegation fund. Accusations of embezzlement against some members, disagreements and quarrels, as well as the death of some of its leading members led to the untimely death of this organization before The outbreak of war and a strong political awareness led to the formation of a number of organizations.
William Benjamin Euba and Rev. Abiodun led to the formation of a branch in Lagos in Despite its short span, it was able to serve as an inspiration to men like Ernest Sessi Ikoli its first secretary as well as Nnamdi Azikiwe. The idea of forming a regional political body such as this was initiated by Joseph Casely Hayford and Dr.
It was organised on a scale that embraced all four colonies Gold Coast , Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Gambia of British West Africa simultaneously, and was led almost exclusively by the educated elite of the area which were mainly successful professional men: Letters were sent to notable men in Lagos, Freetown and Bathurst soliciting their support for the new movement.
It was at this conference that the decision to send delegates to the Colonial Office was decided. They had the following demands: Alongside these requests, they wished the Colonial Office to consider whether the increasing number of Syrians were 'undesirable and a menace to the good Government of the land'.
Unfortunately, it obscured central issues and failed to distinguish specific grievances in the different colonies. At a point it was thought that the delegation were seeking self-government. The mandarins at the Colonial Office pointed out inconsistencies and obscurities, while the NCBWA ignored the colonial governors by appealing to London.
The delegation that presented the petition were in London from October to February While in London, the delegation gained the support of some members of Parliament as well as that of prominent Afrophiles like Sir Sydney Oliver , J. Harris and Sir Harry Johnston. Governors Clifford of Nigeria and Guggisberg both denounced the Congress as an unrepresentative body and felt that the territories were not matured enough for elective representation.
This was also the stand of the Colonial Office. In the Gold Coast legislative council Nana Ofori Atta , the paramount chief of Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Province, declared that the chiefs were the rightful spokesmen of the people, and not the congress.
The reports of the Governors of the British West Africa territories led to the rejection of the demands of the delegation by Secretary of State , Lord Milner. The delegation encountered some financial difficulties. These problems, alongside tension within the delegation as well as reputation of certain of its members by prominent Africans back home, brought about the death of this group.
The Lagos branch of this congress did not accept defeat completely. The fourth session of the congress was held in in Lagos. Its deliberations attracted considerable attention mainly because of the support of the Nigerian Democratic Party. A deputation from the Lagos section visited the Governor in with the aim of continuity. They stated that the aim of the congress was to maintain strictly and inviolate the connection of British West African Dependencies with the British Empire.
Zizer who was the Secretary of the congress as well as the editor of its weekly organ, West African Nationhood departed and the congress became moribund. In , there were attempts to revive this organization but it proved abortive. One of the successes of this organization was the inclusion of the elective principle in the new constitution worked out by Hugh Clifford in The grant to the elective representation led to the emergence of well structured political organizations in Nigeria.